Data and Being Outcome focused: Opposites or best friends? | Sekoia

Evidencing care and being focused on outcomes. Like cats and dogs or best friends?

Cats and Dogs

You collect evidence for many reasons. For management to make sure everything is being done, to manage operations and ensure compliance. To serve Local Authorities with proof that they have commissioned the right service. And last but not least for the benefit of the residents – a point sometimes forgotten.

Data has become somewhat of a bad word in social care. A cold number in a spreadsheet? Assessed by a director that’s not even near your care home. How does this reflect your care and effort? Even worse, it’s a lead in to “be quicker” 🤯

But as we all know, quicker rarely equals better. And when management start to optimise for efficiency there’s often a trade-off. When you are rushed and time-managed you can’t afford to spend time on the little things. The “lazy” 5 minutes to have a heart-to-heart with a resident. The stuff that makes an enormous difference in the home. And actually, makes it a home rather than just a place to spend the final time of your life. That stuff shows up as inefficiencies in the spreadsheets. Stuff that should be eliminated. At least that’s the case in the worst of times..

However, a useful and quick collection of data can help create a better quality of care. An example is the often overused, interrupting emergency and nurse calls. Residents ringing that bell for a whole host of needs. Some valid, some not so much.

By better understanding (through evidence) their reasons for using the emergency call, you can achieve a better understanding of the individual resident. Their patterns. Their habits. And from then start working towards a proactive response to some needs. Instead of the otherwise reactive nature of an emergency call, which often interrupts other care interactions.

The result?

A better experience for the residents. A less stressful working environment for the staff. Emergency calls are not all emergencies. We should try to understand and foresee the ones that are not. So we can focus on the actual emergencies too.

"We have a resident that used the emergency calls a lot. When we rushed to them, it turned out that the call was often about juice or other nice albeit minor things. Making more registrations have really helped us understand the resident better. And make sure emergency calls are only made in case of actual emergencies."
Care Home Manager

Funnily enough, data is not only the cause but also the cure for time tyranny and a stressful working day. If you use data to its full potential it can help unleash your staff. It can show management how to empower their employees.

How?

By illuminating where staff are spread too thinly and where there might be too many resources. Data will help provide an objective foundation for such discussions.

But only as long as the actual collection and data analysis is easy and intuitive. Something that’s way way easier said than done by the way..

And so, the cats and dogs will continue to battle it out. As will data and being “person-centred”. Whatever that might mean.

Perhaps not for the end of times but a good while yet.

PS this is how we help the process 👉 Assessments in Sekoia